Honoring the memories of Judge Nathaniel Jones and Commissioner Todd Portune

10 mins read

Last weekend was a tough one for Greater Cincinnati and all of Ohio.

We lost two giants — former Federal Sixth Circuit Appellate Judge Nathaniel Jones and Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune.

I was honored to have clerked for Judge Jones, who served as a mentor and friend ever since that clerkship. Todd and I served together at the Hamilton County Commission, and in addition to our partnership there, worked on a variety of public issues before and after.

Both men helped to shape my life and outlook on public service in so many ways. And they did the same for many others.

From his childhood days in Youngstown, Judge Jones rose to become a true giant of the law and for justice, both in our country and internationally. But he never forgot where he came from, he never lost his humility and kindness, and never stopped mentoring and inspiring an entire family of law clerks who had the honor of working for him over the years.

As for Todd, it’s safe to say that no individual had a larger impact shaping policy in Hamilton County and Greater Cincinnati in the past 30 years. He made a difference on everything from infant mortality to transportation to infrastructure, as well as on the daily acts of constituent service that have such an important impact on people’s lives. But his greatest legacy may be the personal courage he showed in battling one physical challenge after another. He inspired so many that as tough as things get, you can keep fighting through it all.

Both men will be missed, but both will continue to inspire as we also aim to provide public service and persevere in a difficult time.

Given the events of this week, we hope you’ll continue to stay involved.

Here are three ways you can take action:

  • Ohio Democrats have events happening across the state over the next few weeks — please check out the events section below and find one near you.
  • If you’d like to commit to volunteering for the Ohio Democratic Party, click here to sign up now.
  • Or just take a few moments to read our weekly newsletter below and share it with your networks, encouraging them to join the fight.

Thanks for being a part of this,
David Pepper


Ohio Democrats Call Out Trump’s Broken Promises on Health Care

Ohio Democrats toured the Buckeye State this week, making stops in Ironton, Chillicothe, Marietta and Ravenna, to call out Donald Trump’s broken promises on health care, as Ohio saw its uninsured rate jump in 2018 and the number of uninsured kids rose by 28 percent from 2016 to 2018.

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper emphasized how dangerous the Republican lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act will be for Ohioans’ health coverage. “When it is decided, either this year or next, if Donald Trump gets his way, that will gut the Affordable Care Act and get rid of pre-existing conditions.”


Democratic Lawmakers Slam GOP’s Failed Leadership, Betsy DeVos’s Meddling in Voucher Debate

The last time Betsy DeVos tried to influence Ohio education policy her political action committee was found to have violated Ohio election law and was fined $5 million — which the PAC never paid — but Ohio Republicans who are trying to expand private school vouchers are seeking Betsy’s counsel once again.

“The influence of billionaire Betsy DeVos — and her PAC’s big campaign checks — are a major reason why Ohio’s charter school system expanded so rapidly and with so little oversight,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “Ohio taxpayers have been left on the hook for tens of millions of dollars from scam charter schools like the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow, and now Betsy is advising Ohio Republicans once again about how to take public resources and give them away to private schools that are almost completely unaccountable to taxpayers. It’s a farce.”

Across the state, vouchers have exploded, draining millions from school districts and forcing local tax hikes, but Ohio Republicans have failed to resolve the issue.

“It’s easy to mess things up, but harder to fix them, and once again, it’s Democrats who’ve had to come bail out failed leadership from Statehouse Republicans,” said Ohio House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes. “Democrats have been at the table ready to make a deal, but at the end of the day, the responsibility lies with our colleagues in the supermajority to get along. By kicking the can down the road, it’s our children who will suffer.”


The Ohio Democratic Party is holding its annual Legacy Dinner on Sunday, March 15 in Columbus. Click here for info on tickets and tables.

One last note — the Census Bureau is hiring! Getting an accurate and complete count of every Ohio resident is vital. If you or someone you know is interested in working for the Census, click here for Ohio employment opportunities.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

The people of Ohio deserve a government that supports their hard work and shares their hopes for the future. Our platform represents the Democratic vision for our State, embracing and implementing the dreams of Ohioans. We firmly defend these American beliefs, values, and traditions and are fighting hard every day to elect Democrats who have the experience and ideas to improve our state and who will hold Columbus accountable.

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